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Information for Panel Presidents. WELCOME & THANK YOU You have been chosen to serve as a Panel President because of your expertise in human rights and.

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Presentation on theme: "Information for Panel Presidents. WELCOME & THANK YOU You have been chosen to serve as a Panel President because of your expertise in human rights and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Information for Panel Presidents

2 WELCOME & THANK YOU You have been chosen to serve as a Panel President because of your expertise in human rights and the Inter-American system. Please take a moment to review the following slides to learn more about your responsibilities as President. Your contribution to this Competition is highly valued and very important.

3 YOUR ROLE AS PRESIDENT: As President, you more than anyone on your bench needs to be aware of the facts of the case, the organization and timing of the Oral Rounds, the relevant rules, and the scoring procedures. You also need to know what is expected of your bench in terms of professionalism and disclosure. The following slides provide you with a quick reference for the most important information. Please use the time before each round to remind your bench of these important matters, as well.

4 The Hypothetical Case and Bench Memo As President, it is your responsibility to have a strong understanding of the facts of the case. The Hypothetical Case and Bench Memo provide you with all relevant facts, as well as an analysis of the legal and factual issues related to the case. It can be an important tool in encouraging discussion during the round, as well as scoring the oral arguments. The hypothetical case is available on the Competition website, and the Bench Memo will be emailed to you in early April.

5 TIMING Regular Oral Argument Rounds are 90 minutes, each side being allotted 45 minutes. Interpreted rounds allow 50 minutes per side, for a 100 minute round. This allotment includes the pleadings of both orators, and each teams rebuttal or surrebuttal. You may choose to allow an additional 5 minutes per team for both regular and interpreted rounds. Bailiffs are available in each room to keep time. Please work with the bailiff and your panel to keep your round on schedule.

6 Preliminary Oral Rounds: The Order Pleadings

7 SCORING ORAL ROUNDS Remind your Panel to score based on the persuasiveness and presentation of the competitors argument – not the merits of the case. Remember that students are not bound to their memorial during their oral arguments – they are provided to the judges as a reference. New Score Sheets Competition organizers are introducing a new score sheet this year. Encourage your panel to read through the 3-page rubric prior to the round to be aware of scoring expectations. The new scoring sheets include greater detail, with the hopes of creating more uniform scoring.

8 MAINTAINING ORDER The very subject of human rights often triggers an emotional response. While all participants are encouraged to remain professional, rounds may become heated as competitors and judges become emotionally involved in an case. As President, please set the tone for a respectful round, and address inappropriate behavior as it appears.

9 TROUBLESHOOTING LATE ARRIVALS If a team fails to arrive on time, after waiting 30 minutes, you may inform the Technical Committee and allow the session to proceed ex parte. In an ex parte proceeding, the team in attendance presents its oral pleading and is scored by the judges as if they had appeared against the opposing team. TIE BREAKERS In the event of a tie, the team with the highest individual orator argument score shall advance. If there is still a tie, the team with the highest overall team memorial score will advance. In the event that further tiebreakers are needed, the Technical Committee will determine an adequate process.

10 DOS & DONTS OF BENCH BEHAVIOR As Panel President, it is your responsibility to make sure your bench conducts itself appropriately. Please keep in mind the following behavior, and remind your bench before each round what is and is not allowed.

11 DO: ASK QUESTIONS When asking questions, remember: Questions from the bench may occur at any time throughout the round. Students are judged in part by their ability to respond to the question and the interruption. This is above all a learning exercise – ask questions that will encourage the students to think critically or creatively, and demonstrate their ability to think like lawyers. This is the students time to shine. Do not steal their limelight with your own legal analysis. Try not to ask so many questions that the students are unable to fully present their argument. As President, you control who asks questions and when.

12 DONT: ALLOW A CONFLICT OF INTEREST It is very important that no conflicts of interest exist between your bench and the competing teams. If it comes to your attention that a conflict exists at the beginning of a round, dismiss the judge and request that the Technical Committee replace him/her immediately. What constitutes as a conflict of interest? Judging a team that you coach or its opposition. Judging a team you observed. Judging a team where you personally know an orator. What is not considered a conflict of interest? Judging a team from your own country. Judging a team as a coach. Judging a teams oral round after grading their memorial.

13 DONT: Discuss Inappropriate Information In Front of Teams Do not disclose the scores of individuals or teams in front of the competitors. Do not provide too much guidance in your comments; this is a learning opportunity, not a time to disclose the bench memo.

14 DO: BE POSITIVE Encourage teams! Rather than criticizing a poor performance, offer constructive advice. Judges need to be confident in their own understanding of the case and relevant law. Do not admit to, or openly accuse fellow judges of, being unprepared for the round.

15 IMPORTANT RULES TO KEEP IN MIND RULE 5.2 CONFIDENTIALITY Judges have a duty not to disclose confidential information about the Problem, the Bench Memorandum or other Competition documents. Judges also have a duty to keep confidential their scoring deliberations. If a judge is found to be sharing the Memorial with members of participant teams, both the judge and the university of the participants who saw the Memorial shall be excluded from the competition for that year. The Technical Committee will determine the appropriate penalty depending on the severity of the offense.

16 IMPORTANT RULES TO KEEP IN MIND 5.3.1 Socializing with Participants Judges may not socialize with any Coach or student competitor at any time during the Preliminary Oral Round outside of the oral round sessions. Coaches as Judges must adhere to the spirit of this rule.

17 IMPORTANT RULES TO KEEP IN MIND 5.4.1 Observation of Rounds Unless expressly stated otherwise by a member of the Technical Committee, judges should recuse themselves if they are scheduled to judge the round of a team they have observed in a previous round. Due to this rule, judges are discouraged from observing rounds they are not scheduled to judge.

18 IMPORTANT RULES TO KEEP IN MIND 10.1 General Judging of the oral argument sessions will be based on the organization of the presentation, quality and clarity of legal arguments and the ability to respond to opponent's arguments and questions from the judges. Judges should complete all score sheets at the conclusion of each round prior to deliberating with each other. After all score sheets have been delivered to the bailiff, judges are allowed to give feedback to the teams, in so long as it is not substantive argument assistance.

19 Thank you! Thank you for taking the time to review your responsibilities. Should you have any questions, please contact Catherine Rochon, Program Coordinator, at, ENJOY THE COMPETITION!

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